Egg Tempera Forums

Go Back   Egg Tempera Forums > The Forums > The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues

The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues Sharing the knowledge and experience of fellow tempera painters.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 23-01-10, 11:29 PM
Bruce Cook Bruce Cook is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7
Default Borax is cheaper

Parabens have associated cautionary stories... estrogenic effects, etc.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (citricidal being the active ingredient) is very acidic.

Both are expensive, compared to borax.

Borax is somewhat basic, so might affect colors that are not "lime-proof".

A little borax and distilled water might be a solution worth trying.

Reply With Quote
Old 24-01-10, 05:59 PM
PhilS's Avatar
PhilS PhilS is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sargentville, Maine
Posts: 222

Interesting thread.
I only had a mold problem once (with cadmium yellow, I believe.) Most pigments are relatively inexpensive, so my advice is toss the jar and mix up a new paste. It would be nice if someone could discover a safe additive that would retard mold development, but I worry that it may take several years to discover that, in fact, it isn't safe...
I agree with Koo about dispersions. I have been trying some from Guerra Pigments in New York. They are nice and smooth (silky) but I don't like the way they handle. Ironically, they don't seem to flow from my brush as well as the good old pure pigment pastes.
I have always been inclined toward innovation and risk-taking, but with egg tempera, I have this little voice in my head saying stick to the tried-and-true.

Reply With Quote
Old 25-01-10, 01:05 PM
dbclemons dbclemons is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 231

Originally Posted by Bruce Cook View Post
...Borax is somewhat basic, so might affect colors that are not "lime-proof"...
I've been making my own casein binder with borax for quite some time now, using a wide range of different pigments, and haven't experienced any issues with them. It's more mild than lime or ammonia.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-10, 10:25 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Parabens

Where to get them? Unfortunately, those who manufacture illegal drugs (methamphetamine) closed the door to chemical supply houses. My suggestion would be to Google "compounding pharmacies" in your area and see if they have a gram or two you could try. If they have artistic tendencies (Cheap Joe of Cheap Joe's Art Supplies is a pharmacist), they might even make you a quart of stock solution for very little money.

Methylparaben: 1 gram is soluble in 400ml water (a little under a pint) and that's the max you would use. Propyl paraben: 1 gram is soluble in 2 liters (2 quarts) of water. We used to work using both at half strength so:

1 quart distilled water with 1 gram methylparaben and 250mg (barely enough to see) propyl paraben, and try that to make your pigment paste with. The amount of paraben in a pigment paste won't be enough to worry about the estrogenic effects unless you lick the brush to point it and I hope no one does that.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:45 AM.
Design modifications, graphics and CSS by RobM
June 2010

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.